May 2022 Winners

Aryeh NussbaurmCohenCountertenorHeadshotphotobyDarioAcosta.jpg

1st Place Winner $6,000 - Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, countertenor

Acclaimed as a “young star” and “complete artist” by the New York Times and "extravagantly gifted... poised to redefine what’s possible for singers of this distinctive voice type” by the San Francisco Chronicle, 27-year-old American countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen is one of the classical vocal world's most promising rising stars. 

In his breakout 2016-2017 season, he was named Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was the recipient of a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. His first commercial recording project - the world premiere recording of Kenneth Fuchs' Poems of Life with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta - was honored with a 2019 GRAMMY® Award in the Best Classical Compendium category, which recognizes albums with multiple soloists and multiple works. In 2022, he was named winner of a Richard Tucker Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.


In the 2021-22 season, he makes his Metropolitan Opera debut as Rosencrantz in the Met and U.S. premiere of Brett Dean's Hamlet in the Neil Armfield production, conducted by Nicholas Carter. He makes his Opernhaus Zürich debut in a world premiere ballet creation choreographed by Christian Spuck upon the music of Monteverdi's Madrigals, conducted by Riccardo Minasi. On the concert stage, he makes his Russian and role debuts in the title role of Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra led by Christopher Moulds, he debuts at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw in his role debut as Prince Go-Go in Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre with the Dutch Radio Filharmonisch Orkest led by James Gaffigan, and he returns to The Dallas Opera in a series of gala concerts led by Emmanuel Villaume. He returns to Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for a concert-lecture on the history of Jewish cantorial music, and he returns to Ars Lyrica Houston in a program of Bach and Handel.


In the 2022-23 season, he will make his debut at Komische Oper Berlin as David in a new production of Handel's Saul by Axel Ranisch, conducted by David Bates, he will debut at Bayerische Staatsoper München in his role debut as Endimione in the David Alden production of Cavalli's La Calisto, led by Christopher Moulds, and he will debut at The Glyndebourne Festival in his role debut as Athamas in Handel's Semele, in a new production by Adele Thomas, led by Václav Luks. On the concert stage, he will debut with Chicago's Music of the Baroque in his role debut as Hamor in Handel's Jeptha, he will return to Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for his role debut as Didymus in Handel's Theodora, led by Richard Egarr, and he will debut with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia in a solo program of works by Handel, Vivaldi, and Spanish Baroque composer Jose de Nebra, led by Geoffrey McDonald. He will also have return engagements with the San Francisco Symphony, American Bach Soloists, State Chamber Orchestra of Russia, Ars Lyrica Houston, and others.

Highlights of recent seasons include role debuts as Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Adelaide Festival in the acclaimed Neil Armfield production conducted by Paul Kildea, as David in Barrie Kosky’s heralded production of Handel’s Saul at Houston Grand Opera conducted by Patrick Summers, as Medoro in Handel's Orlando at San Francisco Opera under the baton of Christopher Moulds, and as Ottone in Handel's Agrippina in staged performances with Ars Lyrica Houston conducted by Matthew Dirst. Aryeh made his European debut at the Theater an der Wien singing Timante in Gluck's Demofonte with baroque ensemble Il Complesso Barocco, under the baton of Alan Curtis.

On the concert stage, he has given performances of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Handel’s Saul with Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (professionally recorded and available on all leading streaming platforms), Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Matthew Dirst and the Portland Baroque Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with the San Francisco Symphony and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He made his Australian recital debut under the auspices of the Adelaide Festival accompanied by pianist Konstantin Shamray, he bowed in a world premiere by Yuri Possokhov with the San Francisco Ballet, and he recorded a program of Gluck, Handel, and Vivaldi for his first solo album with Jeffrey Thomas and American Bach Soloists. 


The New York City native became the first countertenor in the history of the Houston Grand Opera Studio during the 2017-18 season, where his performances for the company included the roles of Nireno in Handel’s Giulio Cesare and Second Maid in Strauss' Elektra, both under the baton of Music Director Patrick Summers, and he was a member of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Adler Fellowship program for 2018-19. https://www.aryehnussbaumcohen.com/


2nd Place $4,000 - Christian Pursell, bass-baritone

Hailing from the Santa Cruz mountains of California, bass-baritone Christian Pursell is a rising star among the next generation of singers. His post-pandemic season kicks off with his role debut as Escamillo in Carmen at Cincinnati Opera in July 2021, followed by appearances as Escamillo with Houston Grand Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Pursell returns to the Bay Area in December 2021 to perform in Handel’s Messiah with San Francisco Symphony and will join Arizona Musicfest in February 2022 for Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.

His 2019/20 season started with a return to San Francisco Opera as Lieutenant Ratcliffe in Billy Budd. Prior to cancellation, Pursell was to perform Escamillo in Carmen at Houston Grand Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Handel’s Messiah with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


Mr. Pursell’s 2018/19 season saw debuts at San Francisco Opera as Walter Raleigh in Roberto Devereux, and at Walt Disney Concert Hall as Samuel in Handel's Saul with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Other engagements include debuts at Wiener Staatsoper as Second Englishman in Prokofiev's The Gambler, Houston Grand Opera as Tom in Laura Kaminsky's Some Light Emerges, and a critically acclaimed performance of Dandini in La Cenerentola with the Merola Opera Program. 


As an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, Mr. Pursell’s performance credits include the Jailer in Tosca, Count Lamoral in Arabella under the baton of Marc Albrecht, and an Angel in It's a Wonderful Life conducted by Patrick Summers. Previous roles performed include Marcello in La Bohème, Belcore in L'Elisir d'Amore, Pandolfe in Cendrillon, Harašta in The Cunning Little Vixen, and Liberto/Littore in L'Incoronazione di Poppea. 

As a concert soloist, Mr. Pursell has performed Britten's War Requiem, Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Haydn's The Creation, Faure's Requiem, Pärt’s Passio, and Strauss' Salome. His first commercial recording, the world premiere of Gregory Spears' Fellow Travelers with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, was released in 2017. 


Pursell most recently won 3rd prize in the 2021 James Toland Vocal Arts competition. He is the recipient of the 2019 Igor Gorin Memorial Award, and is a national semi-finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (2016). He is a Richard F. Gold Career Grant recipient (2018), winner of the Partners for the Arts competition (2018), second award winner of the Jensen Foundation competition (2017), winner of the Theodor Uppman Award from the Sullivan Foundation (2017), and recipient of a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation (2017). 


A native of Santa Cruz, California, Mr. Pursell is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received his Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. https://www.christianpursell.com


3rd Place $2,000 Edith Grossman, mezzo-soprano

This past January Edith dazzled audiences as the Stewardess in Kristine McIntyre’s production of Flight with Utah Opera. After having made her debut with Utah Opera in 2020 as Elle in a modern English translation of Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine, she’s gone on to be featured prominently in both the Utah Opera and Utah Symphony’s seasons. In spring of 2021, she was a featured soloist with Utah Symphony in Light on the Horizon, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. Previously, in the fall she covered Rosina in Utah Opera's Il Barbiere di Siviglia and was the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Utah Symphony. Edith will perform as Edith in The Pirates of Penzance (Utah Opera) this spring and will make her Rosina role debut in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Kenosha Opera Festival this summer.


Having gotten her start in musical theatre, Edith has a particular love of English, modern, and contemporary opera. She created the role of Rachel in Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s If I Were You with Merola Opera Company and workshopped Ricky Ian Gordon and Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel with Lincoln Center Theater. But her ability to move effortlessly between eras of music is remarkable with performances of roles and scenes from La Cenerentola (Tisbe), Falstaff (Meg), La belle Hélène (Hélène), Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Sesto), and La Voix Humaine (Elle). With an expertise in the annals of classical musical theatre, her roles have ranged from Eliza Doolittle to Julie Jordan. Edith is equally adept at contemporary material, including Cats (Grizabella) and most recently, Ordinary Days (Claire).

Edith is a graduate of the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam with a B.M. in Vocal Performance. https://www.edithgrossman.com/

October 2019 Winners


1st Place Winner ($6,000)- Mary-Hollis Hundley, soprano recently made her house and company debuts as Gertrud in Hänsel und Gretel at the Michigan Opera Theater and returned to the Bronx Opera as Magda Sorel in Menotti’s The Consul. She is spending her second summer as an Apprentice Artist at the Santa Fe Opera, covering the title role in Janáček's Jenůfa.

Ms. Hundley spent the 2017-18 season as Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Virginia Opera, Zerlina in Opera on the James’ Don Giovanni, and as a cover for Christine Brewer’s Ariadne auf Naxos at Kentucky Opera. After covering Vitellia in Mozart’s Titus (La clemenza di Tito) during the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ 2017 season, she returned last summer to cover Susan Graham in the title role of Blitzstein’s Regina. She served as a Resident Artist at Teatro Nuovo for the remainder of that summer, covering Jennifer Rowley in the title role of Mayr’s Medea in Corinto.

Her mainstage credits include Meg Page in Vaughan William’s Sir John in Love (Bronx Opera), High Priestess (Aïda) at Sarasota Opera, Musetta (La bohème) at Tulsa Opera, and Vitellia (La clemenza di Tito) at Opera in the Heights. She has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, George London Foundation, Gerda Lissner Young Artist Institute, and Sarasota Opera Guild.

Her other roles include Mother (Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors), Female Chorus (Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia), Governess (Britten’s The Turn of the Screw), and the title roles in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. She holds degrees from Mannes College the New School for Music and the University of Kentucky.


2nd Place Winner ($4,000) - Alec Carlson, tenor is a native of Red Oak, Iowa, is a recent graduate of the Ryan Opera Center. In his time as member of the Ryan Opera Center he performed in several productions at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. These include Bruno (I Puritani) First Priest (Die Zauberflöte), Juan (Don Quichotte) Animal Tamer (Der Rosenkavalier), Remendado (Carmen) as well as singing the role of Ismael in the world premiere of Jimmy Lopez’s Bel Canto. Other engagements have included Fenton (Falstaff) with Intermountain Opera Bozeman and covering Cavaradossi at Long Island Lyric Opera. Carlson is an alumnus of Luther College (B.A. in Music) and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (M.M. in voice performance). In 2014 he was an apprentice artist at The Santa Fe Opera. Carlson has participated in Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy and the Wolf Trap Opera Studio artist program. This summer he returns to Santa Fe Opera as an apprentice artist covering the role of Frederic in the world premiere of The Thirteenth Child.

Alec is the recipient of the Richard Tucker Fund Award from Santa Fe Opera, and was recently awarded the Richard and Kerry Stillwell Award in the 2019 Opera Index Vocal Competition. Alec also received 2nd prize in the Brava! Opera Theater and James M. Collier Vocal Competition as well as receiving a grant from the Gerda Lissner Foundation. Alec is an alumnus of the Wolf Trap Opera Studio and the Houston Grand Opera Young Artist Vocal Academy. Alec holds a Bachelor of Arts from Luther College and a Masters of Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  http://www.aleccarlsontenor.com/#home-1-section


3rd Place Winner ($2,000) Christopher Oglesby, tenor joined the San Francisco Opera as an Adler fellow for the 2019 Season. Most recently he was a Resident Artist at the Utah Opera where he sang Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette and was the tenor soloist for Handel’s Messiah with the Utah Symphony. This past summer, Christopher debuted as Tom Rakewell in The Rake's Progress with the Merola Opera Program.

Previously, as an education artist at The Dallas Opera, he appeared in Mozart’s Bastien and Bastienne and in Davies’ The Three Little Pigs. An active soloist and recitalist, Mr. Oglesby recently performed with the Oakland Symphony, Utah Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Dallas Puccini Society, and Opera Diversitá. Other recent credits include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Box in Cox and Box with the Amalfi Coast Festival, University of North Texas, and Opera in Concert.

Mr. Oglesby is a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant. He holds Bachelor of Music degrees in Vocal Performance, Choral Education, and Band Education from Lee University and a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas.

October 2018 Winners


1st Place ($6,000) - Maria Natale, soprano

Praised by The New York Times for her “plummy, penetrating voice,” soprano Maria Natale is quickly becoming a star in the opera world. Ms. Natale is the recipient of many awards and grants from some of the most prestigious vocal competitions nationwide including as a finalist in the Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition; grant recipient from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition, and the Gerda Lissner Foundation; and the second prize winner of the Violetta Dupont Competition and the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition.

Recently, Ms. Natale made her Opera Maine début as Violetta in La Traviata under conductor Stephen Lord where Opera News claimed, “her powerful soprano easily filled the house.” Other recent engagements include her Sarasota Opera début portraying the role of Liù in Turandot where she was hailed as having an “unequivocal Italian sound” (New Outpost), as well as the soprano solo in Faure’s Requiem and Mozart’s Missa Solemnis with MidAmerica Productions at Carnegie Hall. This season’s engagements include a house debut at Opera San Jose where she will sing Nedda in Pagliacci and Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly. Ms. Natale’s other repertoire includes Micaëla in Carmen, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, Marguerite in Faust, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Mimì and Musetta in La bohème, Angelica in Suor Angelica, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Desdemona in Otello, and Gilda in Rigoletto.

As a concert soloist, Ms. Natale has performed with MidAmerica Productions, the New York City Master Chorale, Opera at Florham and Knoxville Opera. In 2015, Ms. Natale was selected by the Metropolitan Opera Guild to sing in their masterclass with Maestro Placido Domingo in Bruno Walter Auditorium. Ms. Natale is a recent graduate from the Manhattan School of Music, where she received a professional studies certificate. Whilst attending school, Ms. Natale sang the role of Lady Macbeth in Ernest Bloch’s only opera Macbeth and was praised for her “high voltage vocal thrills” and “merciless stage presence” (Opera News).



2nd Place ($4,000) - Helena Brown, soprano Lauded as having a "stunningly large round sound," as well as a “steely, velvety” timbre, American soprano, Helena Brown, is quickly distinguishing herself as a force of nature for the international stages. She was recently awarded the Sergio Franchi Award in the Deborah Voigt/Vero Beach Opera Competition, Second Place in the Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera Vocal Competition, as well as awards from the Cooper-Bing, Opera at Florham, Opera Birmingham, and Opera Ebony Benjamin Matthews vocal competitions. Helena additionally received grants from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Giulio Gari Foundation, and Encouragement Grants from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Philadelphia, Jensen Foundation, the Wagner Society of New York, and the MetroWest Opera Vocal Competition in Boston.


Helena was a member of Sarasota Opera for their 2017 winter season as a Studio Artist, covering the role of Madame Lidoine (New Prioress) in the Dialogues of the Carmelites. That summer, she returned to the Glimmerglass Festival to sing Isabella in the American premiere of The Siege of Calais and covered Serena in Porgy and Bess. Last season, Helena made her role debuts as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Rioja Lirica/DIVAria Productions and Sieglinde in Die Walküre with Miami Wagner Institute. For the 2018-2019 season, she will reprise the role of Donna Elvira with Rioja Lirica/DIVAria Productions and debut the role of Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia with New Camerata Opera.                 https://www.helena-brown.com/about


3rd Place ($2,000) - Andrew Manea, baritone Lauded for his, "Charming...robust baritone…” Romanian-American baritone Andrew G. Manea has been continually rising to the top of the opera world at an impressively young age. Andrew’s recent roles include Marcello, La Bohème; #7, Transformations; Forester, The Cunning Little Vixen; Escamillo, Carmen; Danilo, The Merry Widow, and the Father, Hansel and Gretel.

In a very successful 2016 season, Andrew was awarded 1st place and Audience Favorite in the Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition with Shreveport Opera, 2nd place and Audience Favorite in the Opera Columbus Cooper-Bing International Vocal Competition, Finalist in the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition, and was a Career Grant recipient in the Giulio Gari Foundation Competition. Continuing to rise to success, Andrew has begun the 2017 season by winning the Midwest Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and will be singing on the Metropolitan Opera stage in March for the Semi-Finals. Andrew also recently completed two years as a member of the San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship program. At San Francisco Opera he performed Marullo in Rigoletto, covered Marcello in La Bohème, sang Marchese d’Obigny in La Traviata, performed in a world premiere of John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West, and will sang in a Schwabacher Debut Recital with esteemed pianist Warren Jones. Andrew holds his Bachelors degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and his Masters degree from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied with the prolific Bill McGraw.                             https://www.andrewmanea.com/

October 2017 Winners

1st Place - Kyle van Schoonhoven, tenor is currently a first year Adler Fellow, at San Francisco. He will make his debut on the San Francisco Opera stage this coming fall as Young Servant in Strauss’ Elektra, and he will cover the leading roles of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Aegisth in Elektra, Froh in Das Rheingold, and Siegmund in Die Walküre.

In 2017, van Schoonhoven was named a winner of the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Additionally he received the Nicolai Gedda Memorial Award, from the prestigious George London Foundation, and was a finalist in the 2016 Jensen Foundation Voice Competition. Mr. van Schoonhoven's other repertory includes the title role in Chandler Carter’s Bobby, Don José in Carmen, Alfredo in La Traviata, Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos, Hoffmann in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oronte in Alcina, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Peter Fallow in Stefania de Kenessey’s Bonfire of the Vanities, and Genaro in the US Russian language premiere cast of Prokofiev’s Maddalena.

In the summer of 2016, van Schoonhoven participated in the Merola Opera Program. His performance of Wagner’s Rienzi’s Prayer was praised as “gleaming” and “potent” by the San Francisco Chronicle. In addition to participating in numerous young artist programs, van Schoonhoven holds a Masters of Music from Westminster Choir College as well as a Bachelors of Music from Fredonia School of Music. http://www.kylevanschoonhoven.com/

2nd Place - Andrew Manea, baritone Lauded for his, "Charming...robust baritone…” Romanian-American baritone Andrew G. Manea has been continually rising to the top of the opera world at an impressively young age.

Andrew’s recent roles include Marcello, La Bohème; #7, Transformations; Forester, The Cunning Little Vixen; Escamillo, Carmen; Danilo, The Merry Widow, and the Father, Hansel and Gretel. In a very successful 2016 season, Andrew was awarded 1st place and Audience Favorite in the Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition with Shreveport Opera, 2nd place and Audience Favorite in the Opera Columbus Cooper-Bing International Vocal Competition, Finalist in the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition, and was a Career Grant recipient in the Giulio Gari Foundation Competition.

Continuing to rise to success, Andrew has begun the 2017 season by winning the Midwest Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and will be singing on the Metropolitan Opera stage in March for the Semi-Finals. Andrew has also been awarded a position as new member of the San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship program. This coming season at San Francisco Opera he will be performing Marullo in Rigoletto, covering Marcello in La Bohème, performing Marchese d’Obigny in La Traviata, performing in a world premiere of John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West, and will be performing a Schwabacher Debut Recital with esteemed pianist Warren Jones. Andrew holds his Bachelors degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and his Masters degree from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied with the prolific Bill McGraw. https://www.andrewgmanea.com/media

3rd Place - Thomas Gunther, baritone is quickly making his presence felt on the operatic scene. Having completed his work at the well regarded Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, he was a member of the San Francisco Opera’s 2014 Merola Opera Program where he sang the role or Stanley Kowalski in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire.

He has performed the role of Javert in Les Misérables and will be performing the notorious Don Giovanni in Mozart’s masterwork Don Giovanni. Mr. Gunther has already made his mark on the international scene as well, having sung the role of Marcello in La Boheme with La Musica Lirica in Italy and even more recently as Shaunard with the Dominican Republic National Symphony under the baton of Maestro José Molina. As well as premiering Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah in Tel Aviv, Israel.

He Advanced to the Upper Midwest Regional Finals twice and the Mid-South region twice in the Metropolitan Opera Competition, and advanced to the finals of the Chicago Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center Competition.   http://guntheropera.com/Welcome.html

October 2016 Winners

1st Place - Brad Walker, bass-baritone is a second-year San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow and graduate of the 2015 Merola Opera Program, where he appeared as Betto in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. In San Francisco Opera’s upcoming season he will be singing Schaunard in La bohème and a Mandarin in Turandot. He has appeared in the title role Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola and Colline in La Bohéme with Yale Opera where he received an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music. While earning a Master's of Music from the University of Kansas, he appeared as Mr. Peachum in The Beggar's Opera, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte and Orgon in Tartuffe. He also performed as Pangloss in Candide and Olin Blitch in Susannah during his time receiving a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University. He has been an apprentice with Des Moines Metro Opera, Chautauqua Opera Company and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and received an award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

2nd Place - Jennifer Panara, mezzo-soprano has received favorable reviews from critics in the United States and beyond. Lauded previously for her “flawless interpretation” of Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder with Philharmonischer Chor Bonn, she returned to the German city as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, where critics praised her “voice of immense brilliance and versatility” (General Anzeiger Bonn). Her recent performances as The Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors drew praise for her “rich, compelling” singing (Cincinnati Enquirer). As Flora Bervoix (La traviata) with The Santa Fe Opera, she was lauded by The New York Times for her “winning” portrayal of Violetta’s friend and fellow courtesan.

The 2015-2016 Season brought several company and role debuts, including Third Dryad (Rusalka) with Minnesota Opera, Siébel (Faust) with Annapolis Opera, and a series of concerts of Handel’s The Messiah with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Jennifer was a Quarterfinalist in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia: The World Opera Competition, held in Guadalajara, Mexico. In recent seasons, Jennifer was heard as an Artist-in-Residence with Dayton Opera, performing the mainstage role of Hansel (Hansel and Gretel). As a participant in Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Gerdine Young Artist Program (2014 & 2015), she covered the role of Mere Marie (Dialogues of the Carmelites) and the title role of Handel’s Richard the Lionheart. A member of The Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Singer Program for two consecutive years (2012 & 2013), she appeared as Isolier (Le comte Ory) and La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi) in the Apprentice Scenes Showcase. Additionally, Jennifer was an Apprentice Artist with Opera Saratoga, covering the role of Dorabella (Così fan tutte). Favorite operatic roles performed include: Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette), which drew praise for her “delightful” and “spirited” portrayal of Roméo’s pageboy (San Francisco Classical Voice); the title role of Handel’s Rinaldo; Isolier (Le comte Ory); Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro); Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus); Mercédès (Carmen); and Zweite Dame (Die Zauberflöte). Jennifer’s awards include the 2014 Sam Adams Award for Most Outstanding Operatic Performance as Kate Julian (Britten’s Owen Wingrave) at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the 2013 Donald & Luke Graham Memorial Award from The Santa Fe Opera, and Third Prize at Opera at Florham’s 2013 Violetta DuPont Vocal Competition.

A native of Medford, New Jersey, Jennifer holds degrees in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she was recognized for outstanding achievement in Opera Theatre; she recently earned an Artist Diploma in Opera from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

3rd Place - Antonina Chehovska, soprano Ukrainian born soprano Antonina Chehovska is a 2016 prizewinner of the prestigious George London Foundation Competition. Of her performance, the New York Times declared her “heartfelt ‘Letter Scene’ from Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ made her an audience favorite and mine.” She is also the recipient of multiple awards in 2016, including first prize from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, a grant award from the Gulio Gari Foundation, and the Frances MacEachron Award from The Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition. Ms. Chehovska is also prizewinner of the Cooper-Bing Competition, the Schuyler Foundation Career Bridges Grant, Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship, and twice the winner of the Michigan District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, which advanced her to the Great Lakes Regional finals in 2014 and 2015. 

Ms. Chehovska’s 2016-17 engagements include her debut with New York Festival of Song in New York Philharmonic’s Festival Beloved Friend — Tchaikovsky and His World at Merkin Hall and Vocal Arts DC; Micaëla in Carmen with Opera Columbus; Mimì in Puccini’s La bohème for the Giulio Gari Foundation; soloist in Journey Through Eastern Europe with Bulgarian Concert Evenings in New York; and outreach performances with Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra as Mimì. In the summer of 2016 she sang Mimì in Leoncavallo’s La bohème with International Vocal Arts Institute. In the 2015-16 season, Ms. Chehovska made her New York City recital debut at Opera America’s National Opera Center. In concert she performed Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Ravel’s Shéhérazade with Dexter Community Orchestra, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) with Modesto Symphony Orchestra. 

Recent engagements included Messiah with Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, Verdi’s Manzoni Requiem with University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra in historic Hill Auditorium, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Kent Philharmonic Orchestra. In recital she performed on the stage of Detroit Symphony Orchestra as part of their pre-concert recital series during the Tchaikovsky Festival, and was a featured soloist in Shostakovich’s Seven Verses for Soprano, Violin, Cello, and Piano with members of Toledo Symphony Orchestra at the Toledo Museum of Art. In 2013, Ms. Chehovska made her professional debut on the concert stage singing Mozart’s Requiem with Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, sang Dvořàk’s Stabat Mater with the Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, and was specially invited to present a recital at the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava. Ms. Chehovska was the Grand Prize winner of the Czech and Slovak International Voice Competition (2013) in Montreal, the University of Michigan’s Friends of Opera Competition (2013), and the University of Michigan Concerto Competition (2014), which granted her a performance of Strauss’s Vier letzte Lieder with the University Symphony Orchestra. 

An alumni of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance, Ms. Chehovska sang the title role of Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and La Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro. She holds two masters degrees from the University of Michigan, one in performance (voice) and one in conducting. She is an alumna of summer programs such as International Vocal Arts Institute in New York City; Songfest in Los Angeles, where she was the Marc and Eva Stern Fellow; Oberlin in Italy, where she starred in the title role of Puccini’s Suor Angelica; the Moravian Master Class in Czech Republic; and Si parla, Si canta in Italy. 

October 2015 Winners

1st Place - Julie Adams, soprano International rising star, Julie Adams, soprano, is a native of Burbank, California. In her second and final year as an Adler Fellow, Ms. Adams made her San Francisco Opera debut as Mimì in La Bohème for Families and most recently appeared as First Lady in last fall’s The Magic Flute. During San Francisco Opera’s next two seasons she will sing the roles of Karolka in Jenůfa, Kristina in The Makropulos Case, Kate Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly, and in 2017, Mimì in La Bohème. Last year she performed a recital with John Churchwell in the Schwabacher Debut Recital. Since 1983, the Schwabacher Recitals have introduced the artistry of many acclaimed international singers including Anna Netrebko, Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Brian Asawa and Thomas Hampson. The annual series showcases exemplary artists who have participated in the prestigious training programs of the San Francisco Opera Center and Merola Opera Program.


She won the 2015 Elizabeth Connell Prize for aspiring dramatic sopranos, a 2015 Sarah Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation and was one of five winners of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions are considered the most prestigious in the world and have 1,500 singers compete every year. She was one of six singers selected as winners of the prestigious George London Foundation Awards Competition in New York City in 2015. Ms. Adams received the George London-Kirsten Flagstad Award, which recognizes potential Wagnerian singers.


She participated in the 2014 Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, where she where she garnered critical acclaim singing the role of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. During her studies with César Ulloa at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she performed the roles of Blanche in Les Dialogues des Carmélites, Mimì in La Bohème, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. Other credits include Lia in Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and Magnolia Hawks in Show Boat and Rose in Street Scene with the Oakland East Bay Symphony. She recently earned her master's degree at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she also completed her undergraduate studies. Adams is a former studio artist with Opera Santa Barbara.

2nd Place - Abigail Levis, mezzo-soprano  Named "Debut Artist of the Year" by the Joy in Singing Foundation, Abigail Levis is emerging as one of the most exciting young singers of today. Critics the world over have described her artistry as “fearless”, “dazzling”, “impressive, and “breathtaking”.  Ms. Levis’ passion for vocal music has been continuously nurtured throughout her life - singing Irish folk music with her father and Patsy Cline tunes at county fairs with her mentor, Tom Dyhrberg in her native state of Maine. She began classical training at the age of 15 and, after reading Opera for Dummies, became an ardent fan of classical vocal repertoire.


As a professional singer, Ms. Levis has appeared as a soloist with the Wolf Trap Opera, American Symphony Orchestra, Flint Symphony, Hubbard Hall Opera, Utah Opera, The Crested Butte Music Festival, Ars Lyrica Houston, and the New York Opera Exchange in addition to the Handel and Haydn Society. She is also a prize winner of several competitions, with nods from the metropolitan opera National Council, the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the William C. Byrd Foundation, the Grand Junction Symphony, Classical Singer, the Oratorio Society of New York, a Schuyler Foundation, the Young Texas Artist Foundation, and the National Orpheus Foundation.


Ms. Levis’ 2015-2016 engagements include returns to Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, and a debut with the New York Festival of Song. She is also currently a featured member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera.

Ms. Levis enjoys singing in a variety of musical styles from Baroque to contemporary music, from opera to musical theater. Passionate about new music, Ms. Levis has worked closely with composers such as John Harbison, John Musto, Elena Langer, Tamzin Elliot, and Brian Suits. Favorite roles in opera or musical theater have included ingénues (Angelina in La Cenerentola, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Nancy in Albert Herring), maids and aging divas who are anything but ingénues (Petra in A Little Night Music, Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Ottavia in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, and Métella in La vie Parisienne), lovelorn young men (L’Enfant in L’Enfant et les Sortileges, Romeo in I Capuleti ei Montecchi and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro), a chatterbox who interrupts her constant prattling only to sip hot chocolate (La Conversation in Charpentier’s Les plaisirs de Versailles), and, in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, a charismatic and handsome young male fox.


Ms. Levis holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston, and from the Vocal Arts program at the Bard College Conservatory where she studied with Edith Bers and Dawn Upshaw. She is a recent graduate of the Resident Artists program at Utah Opera. For more information, visit www.abigaillevis.com.

3rd Place - Ricardo Garcia, tenor is studying with Cesar Ulloa at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and has previously studied with Daniel Ebbers at University of the Pacific. Ricky began singing at the age of five and was introduced to opera by his uncle JC Mejia. Although Ricky had always been a singer, he also was a baseball player. In 2010 he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers and played with their farm team in LA, but decided to drop baseball and pursue his life’s dream of becoming a professional opera singer. Competition awards include an Encouragement Award for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in San Francisco,  winner of the Adrian Boyer Vocal Competition at the Bayview Music Festival and the Stockton Opera Guild competition in 2014. He also won third place at the 2011 Palm Springs Opera Guild competition becoming the youngest male singer to place in the history of the competition at 19 years old. He performed with the Listen for Life organization at the Ford Amphitheater in Los Angeles and received a standing ovation for his performance. Ricardo continues to impress audiences around the bay area and beyond with his superb singing and mature and engaging stage presence. He is considered to be the pride of Nicaragua in the Classical world according to the people in the town of Masaya and promises to reach the stars with the continued support of his family and friends and last but not least his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

October 2014 Winners

1st Place - A.J. Glueckert, tenor has been praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for his “superb,” “soaring” voice with “polished high notes.” Mr. Glueckert is currently an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera where he recently appeared as the Steersman in Der fliegende Holländer to great acclaim.

In the 2014 – 2015 season, Mr. Glueckert makes his European debut at Oper Frankfurt as the Prince in Rusalka, a role he will first sing at New Orleans Opera. He will also be seen as Don José in Carmen at Pittsburgh Opera. In his final year as an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera, he will take part in productions of Norma as Flavio, Susannah and Un ballo in maschera. He made his San Francisco Opera debut in the world premiere production of Mark Adamo's The Gospel of Mary Magdalene in the summer of 2013 and recently created the role of the Crown Prince in the world premiere of Kevin Puts' Silent Night at Minnesota Opera and Opera Philadelphia. He also recently was featured singing Walther’s Prize Song from Die Meistersinger on Nürnberg where he “evidenced his potential as a Wagnerian lyric tenor” (San Francisco Classical Voice) and an excerpt of Pylade from Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride at the War Memorial Opera House in the Adler Fellow’s Gala Concert. 

Mr. Glueckert is an alumnus of the 2012 Merola Opera Program, where he performed Mr. Owen in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco. As a resident artist with Minnesota Opera, he was heard as Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, as well as covering the title role in Werther and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly. He is also a graduate of the young artists programs at Santa Fe Opera and Utah Opera, singing the Simpleton in Boris Godunov with Utah Opera. In concert, Mr. Glueckert has been heard in Handel’s Messiah with the Utah Symphony and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Santa Clara and Sacramento Symphony Orchestras.

2nd Place - Nicholas Brownlee, bass-baritone a native of Mobile, Alabama, spent the summer of 2014 as an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera, where he made his debut as Don Fernando in Fidelio. Earlier in the year, he was the bass soloist for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Naples Philharmonic. He is a second-year graduate student at Rice University studying with Dr. Stephen King. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of South Alabama. His operatic roles include Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro and the King in Ariodanteat, Doctor Grenvil in La Traviata with the Wolf Trap Opera Company, the title role in Gianni Schicchi with South Alabama Opera Theater, and Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin with the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv. He was part of the inaugural Young Artist Vocal Academy with Houston Grand Opera; in addition he spent a summer in Beijing with I Sing Beijing. In 2011, he was a national semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. 

3rd Place - Ariana Strahl, soprano   Irish-American soprano Ariana Strahl has been called the ‘discovery of the night’ (Voralberger Nachrichten) and has been celebrated as a singer with ‘fearless, accurate vocalism’ (Opera Now). Ms. Strahl has been seen most recently onstage debuting Micaela in the Komische Oper’s Revival of Sebastian Baumgarten’s Carmen. 

During her studies, Ms. Strahl debuted such roles as First Lady in Die Zauberflöte, La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, Peep-Bo in The Mikado, Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica, Monica in The Medium, Mrs. McLean in Susannah, and the title role in Handel’s Semele. Her broad abilities also brought her to the concert stage in the role of the Mother in Stephen Paulus’ The Three Hermits and as the Soprano Soloist for John Rutter’s Mass of the Children. In 2006, Ariana Strahl advanced to the Regional Level of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Central Region). Here she was awarded an Honorable Mention, and lauded by the jury for her promise and talent at the young age of twenty. She has participated in masterclasses with Soprano Dawn Upshaw, Mezzosoprano Joan Wall, Dr. Karen Peeler, Dr. Laurel Miller, as well as with artistic coaches Russell Ryan, John Norris, Claus Unzen and Anette Berg.

After moving to Vienna in 2008 to continue private study, Ms. Strahl debuted as the Kurfürstin in Der Vogelhändler and Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte. She was also a semi-finalist at the Neue Stimmen Voice Competition.  In 2011, Ms. Strahl was chosen for the Young Artists Program at the Komische Oper Berlin. During her two seasons at the Komische Oper, she debuted such roles as Ännchen in Calixto Bieto’s Der Freischütz, Sandman and Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel, Micaela and Frasquita in Carmen, the First Wood Sprite in Rusalka, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Mrs. Pasek in Cunning Little Vixen, and the roles of Fortuna, Damigella, and Drusilla in Monteverdi’s Poppea (adapted by Elena Kats-Chernin for Barrie Kosky’s Monteverdi Trilogy). Additionally, she worked in the Children’s Opera of the Komische Oper, premiering the roles of Sirin in the Turkish-German adaptation of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, and Glowworm Finn in Christian Jost’s Mikropolis. She also debuted as the First Cercatrice in Suor Angelica with the Deutsche Symphonie Orchester, under the direction of Hans Graf. In 2013 she was chosen as a finalist for the ZAV Germany’s Young Talent Auditions. 

Ariana Strahl was born in Munich, Germany and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. Ms. Strahl studied privately with Darlene Marks while in Fort Worth, before earning her Bachelor of Music from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2007. After completing her degree, she moved to Vienna, Austria to study with Paulette Vineyard-Herbich. During her time at the Komische Oper, she continued her private studies with Gregory Lamar and Kammersängerin Deborah Polaski. Ms. Strahl currently resides in Berkeley, California.

October 2013 Winners

1st Place - Jamez McCorkle, baritone has performed with the Curtis Opera Theatre, Music Academy of the West, I Sing Beijing, and the International Vocal Arts Institute. He has also worked with symphonies including New York City Opera Orchestra, the Chelsea Symphony, and the Gamac Orchestra. His repertoire includes Hamlet in Thomas' Hamlet, Owen in Britten's Owen Wingrave, Figaro and Fiorello in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Valentin in Gounod's Faust, Rodrigo in Verdi's Don Carlo, Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Yeletsky in Tchaikovsky's Queen of Spades, Fritz in Korngold's Die Todt Stadt, Marquis de la Force in Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Belcore in Donizetti's L’Elisir d’amore.


Jamez was the 2013 top prize winner at the George London Competition, voted “Audience Favorite” in the Chicago Lyric Opera Ryan Finals, and won 1st prize in the Brava! Opera Theater and James M. Collier Young Artist Program Vocal Competition. He has also received awards from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Bagby Foundation for the Musical Arts, Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, National Opera Association, Metropolitan Opera Gulf Coast Regional, and the S. Livingston Mather Scholarship Competitions. He was also a semi-finalist in the 32nd International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition. Jamez is one of the ten finalists competing in the international Paris Opera Competition in January, 2014 in Paris, France. 


Jamez is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree from the Curtis Institute of Music. He was also a student at the Music Academy of the West, International Vocal Arts Institute, and I Sing Beijing. He has collaborated with musicians such as Mikael Eliasen, Danielle Orlando, Susan Nowicki, Roberto Diaz, and Joan Dornemann.

2nd Place - Julie Adams, soprano is a native of Burbank, California. She recently earned her master’s degree at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she also completed her undergraduate studies. Her stage credits at San Francisco Conservatory of Music include the roles of Blanche in The Dialogues of the Carmelites, Mimi in La Bohème, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi.  Other roles include Lia in L’enfant Prodigue, which she performed with the International Vocal Arts Institute summer program in Tel Aviv, Israel. 


In 2012, Ms. Adams won the Henry and Maria Holt Memorial Scholarship Competition and placed third in the Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition. During the summer of 2013, Ms. Adams was a Vocal Fellow at the Music Academy of the West Summer Festival under the guidance of Marilyn Horne in Santa Barbara, California, where she sang the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte.  Ms. Adams won the October 2013 Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions-Western Regional Finals in Los Angeles and will compete in the March 2014 for the National Competition at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. 

3rd Place - Adam Lau, bass       San Francisco native, Adam Lau, has been praised as a “bass of real quality, with sonorous low notes” (Palm Beach Arts Paper).  Recent credits include Baobab/Hunter in Portman’s The Little Prince with San Francisco Opera, Lane/Merriman in Gerald Barry’s world premiere of The Importance of Being Earnest with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) with the Symphony and Opera Academy of the Pacific, and Timur (Turandot) with West Bay Opera.

A frequent artist with the nation’s leading summer festivals, Mr. Lau has appeared as Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia) with the Merola Opera Center, Leporello (Don Giovanni), Sprecher (Die Zauberflöte), George Wilson in Harbison’s The Great Gatsby under Anne Manson with the Aspen Opera Theater Center, and as Antonio (Le nozze di Figaro) and Commissario (La traviata) at Santa Fe Opera.


In the 2012/13 season, Mr. Lau appeared as Leporello in West Bay Opera’s production of Don Giovanni. Shortly after this production, he headed north to debut with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra singing Boris’ Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov. Later that same season Mr. Lau returned to the LA Philharmonic to cover Masetto in the company’s first fully produced opera, Don Giovanni, led by Gustavo Dudamel. In June 2013, Mr. Lau returned to Los Angeles where he covered both Antonio and Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. Mr. Lau has performed frequently with the Florida Grand Opera, appearing as Colline (La bohème), Sprecher (Die Zauberflöte), Alessio (La sonnambula), and Barone (La traviata). He returns to Florida Grand Opera for their 2013/14 season where he will appear as the High Priest of Baal (Nabucco), Angelotti and Sciarrone (Tosca), and Palémon (Thaïs).  Equally comfortable on the concert and recital stage, Mr. Lau gave a critically acclaimed performance of the bass solos in Beethoven’s Symphony 9. The San Jose Mercury News remarked that, “With the galvanizing entrance of bass Adam Lau, the performance was transformed.” In the summer of 2012 he made his San Francisco recital debut in the Schwabacher Debut Recital Series as a part of the San Francisco Opera Center.  Upcoming oratorio appearances include, his Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra debut singing Handel’s Messiah led by John Nelson in December 2013, and in the summer of 2014 Mr. Lau will again join forces with John Nelson as Raphael and Adam in Haydn’s Creation with Credo Chamber Music. Mr. Lau has been a Finalist and Audience Choice Award Winner in the Houston Grand Opera’s 2011 Eleanor McCollum Competition. He also won First Place in the 2013 Young Patronesses of Opera Competition and was awarded the 2013 Santa Fe Opera Agnes M. Canning Memorial Award for Singers.  He has also been a Regional Finalist in the Northwest Region Metropolitan Opera National Council. Mr. Lau received his master of music degree at Rice University, and currently resides in Miami, FL.

January 2013 Winners

1st Place - Renée Rapier, mezzo-soprano

Making her San Francisco Opera debut as Giovanna in 2012’s Rigoletto, American mezzo-soprano Renée Rapier is a second-year Adler Fellow who has performed with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra, and the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. She is a frequent performer with the Boston-based early music ensemble La Donna Musicale, and appeared on their latest CD, Anna Bon: La virtuosa di Venezia. Rapier was a studio artist at Chautauqua Opera in 2009, and a participant of the Merola Opera Program in 2010 and 2011. The mezzo was a national semifinalist at the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions in 2011. 


Upcoming Engagements- Lucretia, The Rape of Lucretia, Los Angeles Opera/ Colburn School, April 2013; Nicklausse (cover), Les Contes d’Hoffmann, San Francisco Opera, Summer 2013; Meg Page, Falstaff, San Francisco Opera, Fall 2013.

2nd Place - Jennifer Cherest, soprano recently acclaimed as “beautifully expressive and technically polished” by the San Francisco Chronicle, has just begun her first year in the prestigious San Francisco Opera’s Adler Fellowship. This past December, she won the District round of the Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions. Most recently on the stage, Jennifer sang the title role in Mozart's La finta giardiniera with the Merola Opera Program, and Micaëla in La Tragédie de Carmen with Dayton Opera (Ohio). Other roles include: Sylvianne in The Merry Widow (Kentucky Opera), Miss Jessel in Turn of the Screw, and as Drusilla in L’Incoronazione di Poppea. At the Internationale Lyrica Academie di Roma, she has sung Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and First Lady in Die Zauberflöte. A versatile soprano, she has performed Golijov's mutli-lingual masterpiece, Ayre, with the CCM Cafe Momus and Of Myths and Rings with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra (music of Wagner’s Ring Cycle and the film score of Lord of the Rings) Other concert repertoire includes Bach's Jesus, meine Freude, Schubert’s Mass in G, Haydn’s Theresienmesse in B flat, George Crumb’s Unto the Hills, and Wenhui Xie’s Sonetti di Orfeo (US debut). In 2011, she took second place in the Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition and was a finalist in the Fritz and Lavinia Jenson Vocal Competition. Ms. Cherest hails from La Plata, Maryland.

3rd Place - Julienne Walker, soprano In addition to completing her Bachelor’s of Music at the Oberlin Conservatory, Julienne Walker recently received her Master’s of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory. While working on her master’s she performed Bessie in Mahagonny Songspiel, Bradamante in Alicina, and Soeur Mathilde in Dialogues of the Carmelites.  Other roles include Jordan in the world premiere of the re-orchestration of The Great Gatsby with the Opera Parallele, Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with The Music Academy of the West, Polly Peachum in The Beggar’s Opera for Morningside Opera in New York, Jo in Little Womencoached by the composer himself, Mark Adamo, as well as Mere Jeanne in Dialogues of the Carmelites. The recent 2nd place winner of the National Classical Singer Competition, Julienne has also been a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, performing in CarmenAlice in WonderlandSweeney Todd, and covering the role of Micaela, as well as a young artist at the Music Academy of the West for the past two summers.  Her upcoming engagements include being an Apprentice at Chautauqua opera, covering the roles of Alice in Verdi’s Falstaff and Ellen in Britten’s Peter Grimes, as well as performing the role of the Second Niece in Peter Grimes.

2012 Winners

First Place Winner, Marina Boudart-Harris, soprano     Praised in the San Francisco Chronicle for her “powerhouse vocal display” and “flair and well-placed high notes,” 26 year old soprano Marina Boudart Harris is exciting critics and audiences alike. As a first year Adler Fellow, this season she will be covering the role of First Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and the role of Elsa in Lohengrin with the San Francisco Opera. Recently, Miss Harris received outstanding reviews for her singing of the lead soprano role in the world premiere of Love/Hate, a new opera composed by Jack Perla and commissioned and produced by the San Francisco Opera Center. A recent graduate of the prestigious Merola Opera Program, the USC Thornton School of Music and the Music Academy of the West, Harris’ recent stage experience includes Berta in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Arminda in Mozart’s La finta gardiniera and Sesto in scenes from Giulio Cesare. Other stage experience includes La Messagiera in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Melibea in scenes from Rossini’s Il Viaggo a Reims, Komponist in scenes from Richard Strauss’  Ariadne auf Naxos, as well as numerous mezzo-soprano roles, including Florence in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Lucretia in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, La Zia Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and the Old Lady in Bernstein’s Candide.


Well acquitted to the concert stage, Harris has also been featured as a soprano soloist in Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, Bach’s Messe in h moll, as well as Rutter’s Gloria. She is a three time soloist with the Los Angeles Bach Festival, the oldest Bach festival on the West coast, and has performed works such as Magnificat, Johannes-Passion, and Wachet, betet! with the Festival Orchestra and Choir. In 2010, Harris was chosen as a Western Regional Finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and was the Second Place Winner in the Finals. Harris was also a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Regional Finalist in 2009, and took home the Special Encouragement Award. Both years, she was the highest ranking female singer in the Western Regional Finals. While a vocal fellow at the prestigious Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California in 2010 she was a student of legendary mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne. Also an accomplished recital singer, Harris was selected as an Encouragement Award Winner at the Marilyn Horne Foundation Vocal Competition in 2010 for her performance of art song repertoire. In January of 2012 she was named the first winner of the James M. Collier Young Artist Competition. Harris has performed with Center Stage Opera, Opera Pacific, Long Beach Opera, Pacific Chorale, California State University Long Beach Opera Institute, and the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. Internationally, she has sung with the International Lyric Academy in Rome, Italy and also with the New Operafestival di Roma. Harris has worked with acclaimed directors Ken Cazan, Thor Steingraber, and Nicolas Muni, and has sung recent master classes with Marilyn Horne, John Churchwell, Warren Jones, and Charles Castronovo. She received her bachelor’s degree from California State University Long Beach in 2009 and recently completed her Graduate Certificate in Vocal Arts at the University of Southern California. She currently studies with renowned soprano Shigemi Matsumoto. She is represented by Cadenza  Artists in Los Angeles and appears courtesy of San Francisco Opera.

Second Place Winner, Lindsay Ohse, 28 year old American soprano received $1,000. Described as “sparkling” by Opera News, Ms. Ohse has made several house debuts this season, including the lead role of Marie in La Fille du Regiment at Wichita Grand Opera, and as Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro and Maria Celeste in Galileo Galilei by Philip Glass with Portland Opera. She appeared with Des Moines Metro Opera this summer as a principal artist to sing Constance in Dialogues of the Carmelites. This season also included appearances at Sarasota Opera as Viclinda in Verdi's rarely performed I Lombardi and Ann Putnam in The Crucible. The 2010 season began with her main stage debut in Die Zauberflöte at the Sarasota Opera, where she “delivered the Queen of the Night's arias with panache" according to the Wall Street Journal. She then participated in the prestigious Santa Fe Opera young artist program, again having the opportunity to sing Queen of the Night, and she was rewarded for her work in Santa Fe with the 2010 Agnes M. Canning Award. Lindsay is currently with Portland Opera for the 2011-2012 season as a Portland Opera Studio Artist where she will also cover Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Cunegonde in Candide. She received her BM in Vocal Performance and Masters of Opera from the University of Kansas.

Third Place Encouragement Award, Alison King, is a 22 year old soprano and a student of renowned mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne. Ms. King was born in Portland, Oregon holds a BM in vocal performance from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. Currently she studies with Marilyn Horne and Seth Riggs.  At age 16 she debuted with the Oregon Symphony in their Young Artist Concert Series, and sang with the Coeur D’Alene Symphony. Alison has been a finalist for Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Program, the Merola Program, Seattle Opera Young Artist Program and a semi-finalist in Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Competition. In 2011 she performed in the Kurt Moll master class at Carnegie Hall as part of the Song Continues Master Class Series. She is currently a finalist for Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. Alison attended Marilyn Horne’s Music Academy of the West’s in 2011 as a cover for Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and received an honorable mention in the Marilyn Horne Song Competition. She will return this summer to sing Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress.“Harris went on Saturday to give one of Merola Grand Finale’s most memorable performances, a consistent, elegant Arabella, conveying Richard Strauss’ complex, ultra romantic music with purity, without ego.”